Labor Pool Dwindling as Normalcy Returns
May 12, 2021
Brace for challenges in hiring and retention.
Prior to the winter of 2020, labor shortages were peaking as unemployment levels dipped to historic lows. In the three years leading up to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers became quite familiar with the concept of job candidate deficiencies, finding themselves in stiff competition for available workers.
At its crest, the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated a national labor shortage of over 7.4 million workers with no signs of slowing, projecting a shortfall of nearly 9 million job vacancies within the next decade. Industries that had never needed to compete for employees, such as trucking/transportation, manufacturing, restaurant and hospitality, were turning to signing bonuses, tuition reimbursement, and recruiting out of high schools as methods to find and attract potential candidates.
Then, in the spring of 2020, everything changed…
Historically low unemployment was clobbered in March of 2020; Rate returning to pre-pandemic levels today. Source: BLS
Today, as the US slowly and cautiously returns to indoor dining, travel, brick and mortar shopping, et. al., industries affected by the downturn are suddenly seeing signs of life, if not soaring pent-up demand. In just a few short weeks, unemployment levels have fallen back into a more expected range, with economists citing temporary government relief payment programs as a reason levels aren’t even lower.
Once again, employers are struggling to find workers, with all signs pointing to a re-emerging economy that will only intensify labor shortfalls. With the resurgence creating a seller’s market, employees can be choosy about the positions they seek and accept, and the availability of a healthcare benefit program is in greater demand than ever. MetLife Trends reports a 10% increase in employees who believe it is an employer’s responsibility to provide for their health and well being, rising to a full 88% of respondents who feel this way. Employers who disregard a healthcare program will be at a distinct recruiting disadvantage.
In the largest study of its kind, Insurance Applications Group examined the retention patterns of over a half million temporary workers and found that those who were enrolled in our healthcare programs stayed with their employer 47% longer, on average, than those who did not enroll. In addition, employers who offer IAG products typically experience an enrollment rate 3x higher than competitive healthcare plans.
With a labor shortage looming, consider leveraging an attractive, usable and effective healthcare plan to recruit and retain employees.